home made facial moisturiser

P1000701

Caraway, peony and chamomile.

P1000707

One of the rosewater donors

 

P1000705There is nothing like a nasturtium 🙂

P1000704

Part of tonight’s supper.

 

Happy Solstice.  A few snapshots of my garden this morning and the next batch of herbs growing on my windowsills to celebrate the middle of summer.  Tonight we will celebrate with a meal eaten outside, the table decorated with flowers from our garden and the hedgerows.  However you plan to spend today, enjoy the outside, celebrate the seasons and give thanks for the bounty the earth gives up despite the fact we treat her so badly.

But as you can see this post is meant to be about moisturiser.  So back on track.

I made rosewater the other day because I was running low on moisturiser and rosewater is one of the components.  So I was marginally miffed when I assembled the ingredients for moisturiser and discovered I was out  of shea butter.  It didn’t matter too much as I have plenty of cacao butter, but whilst that does have a deliciously chocolate smell there is no point using rosewater as the water element as the delicate smell would be wiped out.

This recipe is a mixture of ones I have found in books and latterly on the internet.  They are all variations on a theme so if you fancy giving this a go, make a few very small batches until you arrive at something you like and suits your skin.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons wheatgerm oil
  • 2 tablespoons beeswax
  • 2 tablespoons cacao (or shea) butter
  • 25 ml water *
  • 0.5 teaspoon honey**

Optional extras

  • Essential oil
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Vitamin E
  • Rosehip oil

* I usually use rosewater but you can use plain water or aloe vera.  I have very sensitive skin and get urticaria at the drop of a hat and am a complete fan of oatmeal scrubs.  So this time I used cooled oatmeal water (I chuck a handful of raw oats in a pan of water bring to the boil and then leave to cool and strain) and added a couple of tablespoons of aloe vera gel to bring it up to 25ml.

** Honey and glycerin are both humectants so help the skin retain moisture.  Either will do.  Don’t use too much or your moisturiser will become unpleasantly sticky.

Method

It really couldn’t be easier.  Put all the oils, beeswax and cacao butter in a bowl over a pan of boiling water and melt together gently, then  you need to incorporate the  water.  Unlike the balms and salves I make for medical purposes I want this to be lighter so I want to make an emulsion.  If you have ever made mayonnaise or Hollandaise sauce it is much the same.  I have a hand held blender (the stick variety) and this works perfectly.  Let the oil cool a little and then gradually add the water drop by drop and mixing furiously after each drop.  Once it has started to emulsify you can add more water each time and I will confess to having once just chucked the whole lot in at once to no great ill effect.

Now you can add your optional extras.  I didn’t add any essential oil as I had used cacao butter and that will mask the EO (or certainly make it smell a little weird).  Which oil you use is up to you.  I love geranium and rose so tend to use those.

I use Rosehip oil as a serum on my skin  every day (and have just found a recipe to make my own so watch this space in the autumn).  It is a fantastic anti-oxidant so I always add it to my moisturiser as well.  I add about 20 drops.  To be honest I don’t know if it makes much difference at this dilution but I still add it.  Vitamin E is a another anti-oxidant.

Pour into clean (I sterilise my jars as I would if making preserves).  Leave to cool and put in the fridge.  I keep mine in the fridge.  Nobody has eaten them yet 🙂  They will keep in the fridge for about as long as you can keep milk say 7-10 days maximum.

A WORD ABOUT PRESERVATIVES

If you are not going to keep your moisturiser in the fridge and you want to keep if for more than 10 days or so you MUST add a preservative.  Unlike balms which are pure oil and fats this moisturiser contains water and are thus at risk of microbial growth.  Thus far I have not made a lotion with preservative, however, much reading of learned (and not so learned) papers on the internet leads me towards pheonip or germall plus.  The choice as to whether you use a preservative is yours.  I prefer to err on the side of caution if I am going to keep a lotion out of the fridge.

 

As for the rosewater.  I mixed it up 2/3 rosewater 1/3 witchazel.  I have used this as my toner since I was in my early teens.  You can vary the ratio, witchazel is an astringent and good for oily teenage skins.  At my age I suffer less from acne and so up the rosewater to the witchazel.

rose water

P1000691

In my aim to get back down to basics and exclude plastics and unecessary chemicals from our lives I have begun to expand my repertoire of homemade toiletries and cleaning products.  I have used rosewater and witchazel as a toner since I was a little girl and I recently discovered the best make up remover EVER.  Olive oil and witchazel, I have never seen anything remove so much grime and make up.  I was about to order some more rosewater in order to replenish my moisturiser when I looked out at the garden, heavy with roses and wondered if I could make my own.

Reader I did 🙂

I collected about 4-6 pints of rose petals and placed them in my huge soup pan.  I then placed a brick in the middle.

P1000693

I placed a metal bowl on the brick and covered the petals and just over the top of the brick with water.

 

P1000694

 

 

Then I placed my wok over the top and brought the water to a rolling boil.  Once it was boiling I reduced the heat to let it simmer and placed handfuls of ice in the wok.

P1000696

Ta da my home made still.  As the water evaporated it hit the icey cold wok, condensed and then dripped into the bowl on the brick.  I emptied the bowl regularly and let it keep simmering for about 30 minutes.  Much longer and I reckoned the product would become too weak.

Unfortunately this is not a scratch and sniff blog, but I can assure you this smells divine.  My first 3/4 pint of rosewater made with my own rose petals.  Now I can replenish my moisturiser.

P1000698

 

101 things you could let go of right now

I love lists.  Don’t you?  That immensely satisfying feeling as you cross off the things you have done.  Decluttering is perfect for list makers.  You can break up the clutter by room, by cupboard, by person, by subject area.  Oddly enough, I have done none of these things.  I have just started in one part of the house and worked my way round, over and over again.  Then I came across this blog by Joshua Becker 101 Physical That Can Be Reduced In Your Home .  Oh the joys, I am so doing this today.  I have already crossed off those things I have already reduced to the bare minimum or we don’t have.  But so much more to go.  I’m all fired up and ready to give the remaining clutter the heave ho.

Could you take this list round your home?  How much could you cross off today?

  1. Glassware
  2. Cookbooks
  3. Kitchen gadgets
  4. Kitchen appliances
  5. Pots / pans
  6. Mixing bowls
  7. Tupperware
  8. Water pitchers
  9. Magazines
  10. Newspapers
  11. Books
  12. Over-the-counter medicine
  13. Make-up
  14. Barretts / hair clips / ponytail holders
  15. Cleaning supplies
  16. Personal beauty appliances (hair dryer/curlers, electric razors)
  17. Bottles of shampoo/conditioner
  18. Photos
  19. Photography supplies
  20. Sewing supplies
  21. Craft supplies
  22. Scrap-booking supplies
  23. CD’s
  24. DVD’s
  25. Decorative items
  26. Candles
  27. Figurines
  28. Crystal
  29. Vases
  30. Audio/visual components
  31. Audio/visual cables
  32. Computer equipment
  33. MP3 players
  34. Furniture
  35. Video game systems
  36. Vdeo games
  37. Video game accessories
  38. Shirts / shorts
  39. Pants
  40. Coats
  41. Dresses
  42. Hats
  43. Clothes hangers
  44. Shoes
  45. Winter gear
  46. Jewelry
  47. Purses
  48. Coins
  49. Pillows
  50. Towels
  51. Linen sets
  52. Candle Holders
  53. Televisions
  54. Items on your bulletin board
  55. Magnets
  56. Artwork
  57. Mirrors
  58. Home office supplies
  59. Pens/pencils
  60. Old batteries
  61. Tools
  62. Hardware
  63. Rolls of duct tape
  64. Coolers
  65. Manuals
  66. Phone books
  67. Coupons
  68. Sporting good supplies
  69. Sports memorabilia
  70. Aluminum cans
  71. Glass bottles
  72. Automobile fluids
  73. Automobiles
  74. Scrap pieces of lumber
  75. Brooms
  76. Rakes
  77. Shovels
  78. Garden tools
  79. Plant containers
  80. Empty cardboard boxes
  81. Board games
  82. Puzzles
  83. Decks of cards
  84. Unused wedding gifts
  85. Baby clothes
  86. Baby supplies
  87. Old schoolbooks/papers
  88. Army men
  89. Bath toys
  90. Toy balls
  91. Toy cars/trucks
  92. Toy musical instruments
  93. Stuffed animals
  94. Plastic toys
  95. Childrens’ old school papers
  96. Suitcases
  97. Soda
  98. Alcohol
  99. Processed foods
  100. Christmas / seasonal decorations
  101. Cable channels

salve

Part of the decluttering process is finding alternative ways to meet essential needs.  I have always been fascinated by herbal medicine and though I know a bit about the basics I would like to learn more.  I have played around with making lotions and potions and soaps but the driving force, the one that says “this is for real not for fun” wasn’t there before.

Now I’m not just making face creams for presents but because I don’t want to buy them.  I have a field full of comfrey full of lavender.  I don’t need to buy comfrey salve I can make it myself.

So today I did.  Three jars of comfrey salve, one of lavender salve and three of rosewater moisturiser.DSC_1657

 

Recipes tomorrow, because I have a family to feed and potatoes to dig up and salad to pick for supper 🙂